IntroHow do you make your kicks quicker? Most students think a kick starts when the first movement of the body is made. Actually, a kick starts when you first think about performing the kick. Therefore, the quickness of a kick not only involves the physical movements of the kick but also the mental preparations. To kick faster, you must think faster. Professional taekwondo kickers have about a 0.48 second reaction time, which is about 63% of the total time of a kick. Since reaction time is longer than movement time, to kick faster, it is important to reduce the reaction time.
Reaction timeReaction time depends on your level of alertness, whether the opponent is using combinations, and the number of incoming techniques you must deal with. You must stay keenly alert to every movement an opponent makes (no matter how small or seemingly meaningless) so you can predict an attack and react quicker. If an opponent usually only attacks with one technique, you have more time to react; whereas, if an opponent attacks with a flurry of techniques, your reaction time to each technique is reduced.
How to improve reaction time
- Reaction time is improved by practice, so the more sparring you do, the quicker your reaction time will be. The more training you do, the better your muscle memory becomes, so the legs react quicker to stimulus. Also, if you constantly think, “I will kick faster," you will start kicking faster.
- Professional taekwondo kickers take about 0.19 second to prepare for a kick. Therefore, to kick faster, work on reducing your preparation motions, such as chambering or moving the body.
- Combining movements, such as chambering as you move forward, will reduce preparation time.
- If you always keep your knees bent, you will increase kicking speed since the knees do not have to bend before you move.
- Use weight training to increase your leg power, which will increase movement speed and thus increase kicking speed.
- By increasing the depth of your stance, which will make the lead leg closer to the opponent and decrease the distance the kick must cover, you will increase kicking speed about 0.07 second.